Front matters: This is the email I sent to all the current users of the hosting offer.
Dear Indefero Users and Customers,
today is not an easy email I am sending you, this email is to announce you the wind down of the Indefero hosting platform. The Indefero hosting will be stopped at the following dates:
- free hosting, 31th of December 2012 (in 5 months);
- paid hosting, 30th of June 2013 (in 11 months). If your renewal date ends before the date, you will get free hosting until the end.
To help you in the changes, the period of transition is as long as possible. Now that you know the meat of the subject, let me provide you with the whys, how and details. But first, stopping a service is not an easy task, it is especially hard because you, as customers, trusted me to provide long term high quality service and by stopping the service I am breaking this trust. For me, it is also hard because it means that I failed to correctly predict the future.
Thanks a lot for the trust you had in using Indefero and please accept my sincere apologizes for not providing you continued services for another couple of years.
If you paid a renewal or a new forge in the past 45 days, I can issue you a full refund. In this case I will ask you to migrate out before the end of the year. 45 days is the limit of the banking system.
How to Save your Data
Simple, login here:
and download the backups (down the page). You get everything related to your forge and the data are compatible with Indefero, that is, you can install Indefero on your server and import the data.
How to Make a Successful Migration
Login in your account:
Click on the "configure your forge" link:
and update the personal domain to use a domain you fully control. If you are working for the foobar.com company, put something like code.foobar.com and get a CNAME record in your DNS pointing code.foobar.com to yourforge.indefero.net. Then, start asking people to use code.foobar.com to access your forge. After a while, nobody will use the indefero.net address and you will have full control over your forge.
The next step is to setup your own Indefero instance and import the data from the hosted forge, then switch the DNS to point to your own Indefero instance.
The end result is a migration without downtime and without disturbing your end users.
Tools to Make a Successful Migration
In October, you will get ready to use Amazon EC2 images which will allow you to do nearly "One Click" migration of your data from the hosted platform to your own Indefero instance. With an EC2 micro instance, it will cost you about $15 per month to run your own Indefero instance. I will also work with the current providers of Debian packages to be sure you can easily setup and import your Indefero forge on a fresh Debian system.
Why Stopping Indefero Hosting?
Because of focus, when I started Céondo Ltd, I had not really a clear picture of where I wanted to go and how, now, I know and the key is "Science", that is, I will fully focus on scientific software and consulting. In the last months, I was able secure 2 to 3 years of consulting pipeline in science, this is a clear indication that this is the way to go, a specialization in an extremely technical area where the barrier to entry is very high.
How Will It Affect the Indefero Software?
Surprisingly, I expect it to be positively affected. The last year I have been slowing down my involvement in the software because changing the software would also mean for me, applying the changes to 3000+ forges on a system not designed in the first place to accomodate so many forges. I was afraid of the consequence of a bad upgrade at such scale.
The time used to manage the hosting will in part be redirected to improve the software and the migration tools will also be used in parallel to allow us to perform automated testing of Indefero. We will be able to start an EC2 micro instance, test and stop.
The Indefero community is very active with an increasing number of users and packages for nearly all the current Linux distributions, the current goal is to have the Indefero packages distributed officially by all the main Linux distributions to ensure long term support. You will soon get the distribution specific packaging scripts be part of the source code of Indefero. This is critical for the long term support of Indefero and will help testing on a larger scale.
Alternatives to Running your Own Forge
The code hosting space is crowded, so crowded that it is hard to recommend someone. First, the real question is:
how critical is your code? Can you accept to have it hosted by a third party? Of course you currently have it hosted by a third party right now, but it may be a good time to rethink this question. I think it is critical enough to have full control over it, this is why I gave full control with CNAME, backup and OSS dump compatibility to you when providing Indefero hosting. I could not provide something I could not use personally.
then of course, you need to define what you want in terms of functionalities, version management software (Git, Subversion, Mercurial, etc.) and the contractual constraints (hosting location within/outside the US, price, owned by a big/small company independent/partially owned by venture capitalists). This is not simple, I have seen an increase of the number of forge creations since GitHub took venture capital money on board. So, it looks like some of you do not like to be dependent on venture capitalist controlled companies. You have the time to think about it.
If I had only one service to recommend, I would recommend Pikacode under the lead of Benjamin Jordan. They have been hosting code repositories for a long time and have been active contributors to Indefero. I trust them and they are real system administrators, used to managed some of the biggest website in France, saturating Gbps of bandwith during big events. They know their job very well.
Here is the "inline" advertizing from Benjamin for you:
Pikacode.com offers Git and Mercurial repositories hosting. Formerly knows as Intuxication, thousands of repositories have been created by our users since 2008. Pikacode goals are simple : easy, sleek and fast code hosting. We offer you 90 days of free trial for unlimited private repositories and collaborators with the following voucher : HELLO-PIKA.
If some of you can recommend code hosting companies, just let me know. Note that Pikacode also offer free public repositories.
What is Next?
I will setup in September/October a migration website:
this will be your portal to have everything you need to get a successful migration without disturbing your users and losing your data. It will be updated with the latest information, tutorials, possible alternative offers — basically, everything to help you.
Again Thank You
At the end, I can only thank you for your trust and the bit of travel around the Sun we did together. I am proud of what was achieved with Indefero and I am honored you trusted me, I am also sure you will find a good way forward.
Best regards, loïc